Excerpts 02/02/2005

Lost Empires of Faerûn
By Travis Stout

The past has left its mark on the present of Faerûn, and now you can get a glimpse of what went before in Lost Empires of Faerûn, the latest sourcebook for the Forgotten Realms setting. Information for both players and Dungeon Masters includes prestige classes, feats, and spells commonly employed by characters who delve into the secrets of the past or keep alive the ancient traditions of realms now vanished into history. The bulk of the rest of the book delves into the Crown Wars, the Old Empires of Mulhorand and Unther, the empire of Netheril, the powerful states of Coramshan and Jhaamdath, the fabled realm of Myth Drannor, various artifacts and monsters of the past, and several other topics that Dungeon Masters can find useful when creating Forgotten Realms campaigns. Our sneak peek includes a look at ancient feats, a prestige class, ancient spells, some artifacts, plus several tidbits of past lore.

Ancient Spells

Many of Faerûn's fallen empires boasted magical knowledge far beyond that available to present-day spellcasters. Most of those ancient spells have been lost to the mists of time or are beyond the understanding of current spellcasters, but a number them still survive in the grimoires of spellcasters across Faerûn.

Here, then, are some sample spells from the book:

Ebon Ray of Doom
Level: Assassin 3, sorcerer/wizard 4
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 level)
Effect: Ray
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes

You fire a ray of black energy that drastically slows down the rate at which the subject can recover hit points. Any creature attempting to restore hit points to the subject by means of any sort of healing magic must succeed on a caster level check (DC 15 + your caster level), or the healing effect fails. A subject with fast healing or a regeneration ability must make a Fortitude save at the beginning of its turn each round. Failure indicates that the ability does not function in that round.

Nar Fiendbond
Level: Cleric 7, sorcerer/wizard 7
Components: V, S, M/DF, XP
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Target: One humanoid with Int 4 or higher
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

You turn the subject into a half-fiend by imbuing it with the essence of the infernal planes. The subject can have no more character levels than you do, and it must either be willing to undergo the transformation or be restrained in some manner. Upon completion of the spell, the subject can attempt a Will save to avoid gaining the half-fiend template. Failure (or a waived saving throw) indicates that the subject's form visibly changes, gaining physical qualities that show its fiendish nature (horns, tail, wings, and the like). In addition, the subject's type changes to outsider, and the moral component of its alignment changes to evil.

The newly created half-fiend also gains a +4 level adjustment, raising the XP required for it to achieve its next character level. For example, a 5th-level sorcerer who becomes a half-fiend by means of this spell becomes a 9th-level character who needs 45,000 XP to gain his sixth class level.

You cannot cast Narfiendbond on yourself.

Arcane Material Component: Precious gems with a total value equal to the XP cost of the spell.

XP Cost: 500 XP per character level of the half-fiend created.

Theskyn's Hearty Heave
Evocation [Force]
Level: Sorcerer/wizard 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 10 ft.
Targets: One creature/three levels
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

Created by a court mage serving the Stag King of Athalantar, this spell provides you with a bit of breathing room when you are threatened by swarming foes. When you cast the spell, you project a blast of concentric force that pushes away creatures surrounding you. Each creature is affected as if it had been subjected to a bull rush maneuver by a foe of Large size with a Strength score equal to 20 + your caster level (maximum 25), and the attacker had moved with the target (though you need not move at all). Movement caused by this spell provokes attacks of opportunity, just as the movement resulting from a normal bull rush would. Creatures grappling you are not affected by this spell.

Toothed tentacle

Toothed Tentacle
Level: Sorcerer/wizard 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Effect: 30-ft.-long tentacle extending from your hand
Duration: Concentration, to a maximum of 1 round/level

This spell creates a shadowy tentacle of energy that extends 30 feet from your hand, splitting off into three smaller tentacles about 10 feet from its end. Each of these smaller tentacles ends in a fanged, slavering maw. All three of these mouths can be directed to attack as a full-round action, or one of them can attack as a standard action. You can direct the mouths to attack separate targets as long as all targets are within 10 feet of each other. Each mouth strikes with an attack bonus equal to your caster level plus the modifier for the ability score that controls your spellcasting, and each deals 2d6 points of damage on a successful hit.

Because the mouths are tangible, they can be destroyed. Each has an AC of 15 and hit points equal to 10 + your caster level. If a mouth is destroyed, it fades away into nothingness, but the other mouths remain. If all the mouths are destroyed, the spell's duration ends. The main tentacle cannot be attacked.

Material Component: Three hairs and a tooth.

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